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U.S. Ends 'Overwatch' Of Baghdad Green Zone Checkpoints

An Iraqi soldier drives through the Green Zone in Baghdad. (file photo)
U.S. military support for Iraqi efforts to secure Baghdad's Green Zone ended today, the latest step in the U.S. plan to withdraw from Iraq.

The pullback marks the first time since 2003 that no U.S. soldiers have been present at any of the so-called "entry control points" into what is now referred to as the International Zone.

The complete handover to Iraqi forces was marked with a ceremony inside the heavily fortified compound for Iraqi government buildings and foreign embassies.

Under the terms of a U.S.-Iraq bilateral security agreement signed in November 2008, all U.S. forces are to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

compiled from wire services